I like the people in Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Goa. There are some good and genuine people in the local political unit but I am not a fan of Arvind Kejriwal. His political agenda seems self-centred. I disliked him more after his persistent inconsistency in handling Covid-19 in Delhi and the usage of a health crisis to plaster his face over every television channel in India. In my opinion, he could have saved more lives and not resort to political drama over the health crisis. In fact, I had openly mentioned my dislike to a friend of mine in the AAP central leadership looking at Goa affairs. I told him, “AAP Goa can work, Kejriwal will not work.” If the AAP assumes that the ‘I am Super CM’ Kejriwal will sell in Goa, then their reading on the state is myopic and based on half-knowledge, especially regarding the nature of the people of Goa.
Goa is a state, where its people were ruthless and unkind to the late Manohar Parrikar. He was one politician who genuinely had a vision for Goa. I remember the vicious attacks by some spineless political vermins that relentlessly attacked him, even as he fought for his life while doing his duty to the people of Goa and India. A Catholic priest took to liberty to shout out from the pulpit in a Church that “Manohar Parrikar was cursed by the people of Goa that’s why he suffered and died.”
When Congress faltered in governance, the people of Goa decimated them in the Assembly Elections 2012. When BJP, first led by Manohar Parrikar and then by Laxmikant Parsekar faltered in governance during 2012 to 2017, BJP was reduced to a minority in the Assembly Elections 2017. Of course, through political machinations, BJP retained power and further strengthened its position by inducting 10 Congress MLAs. I disagreed with that damning move but that’s politics.
In Goa today, you do not have the BJP in ideology, you have the BJP because 17 MLAs had been Congress MLAs at some point of time in their political careers, not too far back in time. Not all of them are beacons of virtue for BJP to have inducted them. One is accused of raping a minor girl.
There is growing angst in some constituencies against the BJP. There is absolutely no hope for Congress in Goa as it continues to pander to the old political horses that have become wooden rocking horses; they give Congress a feeling that it is galloping in the state but in reality, it is getting nowhere. The problem with Congress is that even with their five MLAs, each would be aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Goa. That is essentially the problem of Congress in Goa: lack of selfless leadership to build the political party.
The new change in AAP Goa is focused on recruiting disgruntled leaders in both Congress and BJP to create a mark for itself in the state. Its previous strategy under Elvis Gomes focused on the activists’ style of politics. That will never work in Goa. Activists are good at making noise, not winning elections. Winning elections is about building public perception and managing electoral numbers. The number of voters per constituency in Goa is less, managing electoral numbers is a major challenge and an art that few have perfected.
AAP Goa has the potential to make a difference as there is a vacuum in the state as some people are disillusioned with both Congress and BJP, and the regional parties have not yet flexed their muscle across the state convincingly, they have strengths in few pockets. But if AAP Goa brings the Delhi brand of politics to Goa then it will bite the dust here.
AAP Goa may not have the potential to get a majority in the state but they can bag a seat or two if they get the electoral arithmetic right and do not stray towards becoming a drama party in the state. Unfortunately, for Kejriwal, old habits die hard, thinking Goans to be like Delhiites, that will jump for freebies is the error that he has made on his visit to Goa this time. He has announced free electricity, good schools, and Mohalla clinics.
Unfortunately, he has not understood that Goa is a state where the per-capita income is high. People are not short of money or shy of spending. We do have good schools and a decent healthcare system that has been spruced up; of course, it can get a lot better. The failure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi exposed the poor healthcare infrastructure that Kejriwal tomtoms about in India and globally.
Goans want a future and not freebies. Kejriwal, through these antics, is not catering to Goans but the non-Goan migrant population that is growing in Goa. For them, freebies will work. I remember a story last year during the pandemic when the Goa government under the BJP was given free kilos of rice to Goans with a ration card under some welfare scheme, some people were taking the rice and selling it to their friends who did not have a ration card. That’s the true nature of a Goan, they are enterprising. Giving them something free will make no difference to their lives. In fact, it was amusing seeing Pratima Coutinho, a former Congress leader, now in AAP, (which in my opinion was a good decision because in Congress she would get nowhere) distributing freebies in a bag to a lady living in a posh bungalow with a car and bike. That’s not the poverty of the state. That’s the inherent nature of Goans, they do not say no to a gift.
AAP Goa has read the people of Goa wrong. If the party truly wants to bring a change in the state, stop selling Kejriwal to Goans, Goans do not care about leaders from Delhi. Let me say this bluntly, even Narendra Modi’s name is not good enough to win elections in Goa. If his name could win an election in the state, then the party should have won both North Goa and South Goa Parliamentary seats. People from Goa like Modi as PM but that is not sufficient to win Assembly elections. Manohar Parrikar was Defence Minister of India and former Chief Minister of Goa, yet in 2017, BJP did not get a majority.
Delhi stamp does not impress Goans. The moot point is what can you do for the people of Goa. They think differently. They have understood politics, know their power centres but most importantly they know how to play the politicians.
AAP is talking about stopping corruption. Congress brought new faces to supposedly stop corruption. The new faces walked straight into BJP and made a mockery of democracy. That’s the penetration of corruption in Goa. Corruption is a card that is beaten to death. Goans want Goa to regain its true identity in India and globally. They want a future.
The people of Goa are young, vibrant, and futuristic. They want an opportunity to build Goa and make it competitive with the rest of the world, not only India. They want a government to create entrepreneurial opportunities for them. They want a government to bring better companies with job opportunities to the state. They want sustainable tourism development that focuses on the culture, heritage, and content life of the Goans. They do not want the maddening crowd coming to Goa thinking it is Thailand. Young Goa has an aspiration. This aspiration takes the most educated and talented Goans out of the state. They want a better life and if they can get it in Goa, they would never leave the state. Goans living outside of Goa and India want to come back to their home but where are the opportunities to grow and compete with the benefits one gets in other states in India or globally.
Political parties that can fulfill the aspirations of the people of Goa with a roadmap on the socio-economic future of the state coupled with sustainable development and futuristic growth ideas will create a mark in Goa in the forthcoming elections. Goans will take your freebies and vote for the political individual or party that focuses on the growth of Goa. Goans are not slaves to freebies. They do not want non-Goans eroding the inherent culture of its people by turning it into Bangkok or Shanghai. Goa does not want to become a Mumbai or a Shanghai. Goa wants to remain — Goa.
The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.
I WANTED TO BUILD A PLATFORM THAT COULD HELP OVER A MILLION PEOPLE: RANGANATH THOTA
Fueladream.com is the only crowdfunding platform in the world that funds social causes, products and creative ideas, said its founder and CEO Ranganath Thota during an exclusive interview with NewsX.
Ranganath Thota is the Founder & CEO of FuelAdream and is doing social entrepreneurship via this platform. Thota in an exclusive interview with NewsX India A-list said “The objective is to try and build something that could help over a million people and the only way you could do it is through this concept called Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding means the act of several people coming together to fund something that they believe in.”
The switch from a media person to a social entrepreneur was because of a turning point that happened six years ago. Thota said, “I used to be in the corporate world for about 30 years where I worked across consumer products, media, worked in India, China, South-east Asia. About six years back, I realised I was making a lot of money and it was not as gratifying as I thought it should be. I realised that helping others was more satisfying and meaningful. I sold everything and decided to start this crowdfunding platform. I read about it for half an hour, discovered what it is and moved to Bangalore six years back.”
When asked what sets it apart from other competitors, he said, “What we discovered is that when people fund creative and innovative ideas, they are overwhelmed and passionate about it and that’s why they support it. Similarly when they fund something for a social need, then they have compassion. You have compassion at one end and passion at the other. But in many cases, people are the same. So, for example, we could fund the education for a child and also something as an electric bike.”
Speaking about one of his innovations, Thota said, “For example, there is a smart wallet with a chip in it that connects to the phone. If you lose your wallet you can call it with your phone and if you lose your phone you can call it with your wallet. You can use the phone camera and take pictures using the wallet. This project was funded four years ago. But the same person will help people with cataract surgery and education. So the same person can be driven by compassion and passion.”
He added, “The second thing is about giving behaviours. In social media, we talk about the food we eat, the holidays we take and the pictures we like but we never talk about giving. It is never understood. But there is a huge science in consumer behaviour related to giving which is very different. Crowdfunding also has a science and has four key elements that go into it. It includes storytelling, technology, consumer behaviour and most importantly, communication. Unless you know all this, you cannot do crowdfunding. The other thing we do is teach crowdfunding to a large number of people. They could be corporate people, students, etc.”
When asked about how he builds rapport, Thota said, “Nine out of ten people don’t know how to crowdfund even if their intention is good. They need a lot of hand rolling and that is where I and my team support them. The other important thing is raising funds. There are a lot of things that we need to understand about the projects that need fundraising. A lot of people come to us with great projects but what they don’t realise is that if they raise five times the amount that they are planning to, they actually cannot execute it. Unlike other platforms where you can start a campaign in an hour, with us it takes two days.”
Talking about the success rate he said, “typically it is about 70%. But if some projects don’t work well it is simply because the person doing it doesn’t manage it well, it is not like the story is not good.”
ISRAEL MINISTER TO DISCUSS PEGASUS IN FRANCE VISIT
JERUSALEM: Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz will meet his French counterpart in Paris this week for talks that will include an “update” on the Pegasus spyware scandal, his office said Tuesday. A Ministry statement said Gantz will leave Wednesday for talks with French Defence Minister Florence Parly on topics including the crisis in Lebanon, nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Pegasus malware made by the Israeli firm NSO, which was allegedly used to target President Emmanuel Macron. Pegasus, which is able to switch on a phone’s camera or microphone and harvest its data, is at the centre of a storm after a list of about 50,000 potential surveillance targets was leaked to human rights groups. Amnesty International and French media nonprofit Forbidden Stories collaborated with a clutch of media companies, including the Washington Post, the Guardian and Le Monde, to analyse and publish the list. Macron had to change his phone and number. Israel’s defence ministry must approve NSO exports given the sensitive nature of the sector. Israel’s defence establishment has set up a committee to review the firm’s business, including the process through which export licenses are granted. Pegasus’s list of alleged targets includes at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders. NSO insists its software is only intended for use in fighting terrorism and other crimes and says it exports to 45 countries.
NORTH, SOUTH KOREA AGREE TO RESTORE SEVERED COMMUNICATION LINKS
SEOUL: North and South Korea restored their cross-border communication lines that had been severed for over a year, the South Korean presidential office said on Tuesday.
An official statement said that the two Koreas decided to resume their direct communication hotlines as of 10:00 am local time. This comes 13 months after North Korea cut off all communication lines with South Korea in protest over Seoul’s supposed failure to stop activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the communist nation, Yonhap reported.
Since June last year, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) cut off ties in protest against Seoul’s inability to stop civic activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the DPRK.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged personal letters several times since April to communicate about issues on the restored inter-Korean relations, the statement said.
Moon and Kim agreed first to restore the severed inter-Korean communication lines, the statement read. The two leaders also agreed to restore mutual trust and enhance inter-Korean ties at the earliest.
Seoul said the resumed inter-Korean communication lines would play a positive role in the improvement and the development of inter-Korean relations.
PAK TO COMPLETE FENCING OF BORDER WITH AFGHAN BY 14 AUG
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced that the fencing work along the Afghan border would be completed by August 14 amid fears of a new refugee crisis due to the large-scale violence in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has already ruled out taking any more refugees due to the ongoing refugee crisis at the Afghan border, The Express Tribune reported. This comes as the UN has said it is witnessing “very intensive movements” of internally displaced Afghans towards the country’s borders as violence escalates.
Earlier this month, UN Deputy Special Representative Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov said: “We are also seeing very intensive movements of the population to the areas, adjusting to the orders, where Iranian and Pakistan borders are now largely closed, and the people are using the illegal border crossing trying to move through those borders.”
During a presser on Monday, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said that the fencing along the Afghan border would be completed by 14 August. He said that 46% to 48% of fencing on the border with Iran had also been completed.
The Minister said there have been thousands of foreigners living in Pakistan over the last many years without renewal of visas. Rashid also asked these foreigners to leave Pakistan before August 14 or get their visas renewed through an online application.
AFGHAN VP SALEH CALLS PAK ARMY ‘STRATEGIC MASTER’ OF TERROR INVASION IN AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan’s first Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Tuesday lashed out at Pakistan saying that its army is the “architect and strategic master” of the ongoing terror invasion of Afghanistan.
The Afghan government has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and preventing the Afghan forces from carrying out military operations against them. Amid the ongoing Taliban offensive, the Afghan Vice President said the propaganda stunts “will not change the reality” of Pakistan. “The propaganda stunts will not change the reality and improve Pakistan’s image in my country. The reality is that Pakistan Army is the architect, strategic master and low profile supplier of the ongoing full-scale terror invasion in my country,” Saleh tweeted.
Quoting a Pakistan author, the Afghan Vice President said the Pakistan army may be able to deceive the public but they cannot fool the intelligence services and strategist circles.
“The reputable Pak author respected Ayesha Siddiqa says GHQ may be able to deceive the public but they cannot fool the intelligence services and strategist circles. Team Bajwa now betting on the UK to promote the Taliban — to get to the US indirectly,” he added.
The ties between the two sides have deteriorated since the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan was briefly kidnapped on her way home in Islamabad on 16 July. Thereafter, Kabul recalled its ambassador from Islamabad, demanding punishment for those responsible.
Meanwhile, Afghan former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil has said that at least 1,000 Pakistani terrorists enter into Afghanistan every day through Spin Boldak border district, which was captured by the Taliban last week.
In a post on Facebook, Nabil on Saturday warned that the country’s defences are in shreds and that disaster will be inevitable if the government did not retake Spin Boldak crossing, a major port of entry between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “If this situation falls on deaf ears and the Taliban are not ousted from Spin Boldak, more Pakistani militias and terrorists in Taliban uniform would freely come into Afghanistan,” Afghanistan Times quoted his post.
He also claimed that Pakistani terrorists and militias are taking preparation for war and direct incursion on Afghanistan soil.
Nabil said that terrorist training and recruitment centres have been reactivated in Pakistan and money is collected from those countries which have an interest in the spread of extremism in the region to achieve their goals.
US COMBAT FORCES TO LEAVE IRAQ BY YEAR END
There will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by 31 December, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement.
After the strategic dialogue held in Washington on Monday, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by 31 December 2021, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement.
The delegations include — Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Fuad Hussein and the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken. They co-chaired the final session of the Strategic Dialogue, initiated on 11 June 2020, in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (SFA), as per a statement issued by US Department of State. The Iraqi delegation also included representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The joint statement said that the two countries reaffirmed the importance of these discussions, which focused on strengthening the long-term strategic partnership defined by the SFA and on key issues of mutual concern: regional stability, public health, climate change, energy efficiency, energy independence, humanitarian aid, human rights, economic cooperation, and cultural and educational exchanges, among other issues. Iraq provided a detailed account of its efforts to promote the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their home regions, and the US pledged its continued support in this regard.
Opinion10 months ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports1 year ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News1 year ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
Spiritually Speaking12 months ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
News1 year ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Sports1 year ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219
Legally Speaking1 year ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail
Royally Speaking10 months ago
The young royal dedicated to the heritage of Jaipur